Alfajores were an ancient traditional Spanish confection, having originated from the time of the Moorish occupation of Andalusia. It evolved from the alaju, a Middle Eastern sweet. It was exported via colonization to several Latin American countries, and adapted by each country. Most versions usually consist of a shortbread cookie sandwiched together with manjar blanco, or dulce de leche. It is an extremely popular sweet in Peru. This is the Peruvian version.


Alfajores / Peruvian Shortbread and Manjar Blanco Cookies
Servings Prep Time
24sandwich cookies 1hour
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
24sandwich cookies 1hour
Cook Time
  • 1pound flourall purpose (4 cups)
  • 2oz. powdered sugar(1/2 cup)
  • 1tsp. salt
  • 1pound butterroom temperature (2 cups, or 4 sticks)
  • 1tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1recipe manjar blanco(see Recipe page)
  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F.
  2. Sift together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt; then whisk to combine. Place in a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment.
  3. Add the butter; pulse on low speed, just until dough forms.
  4. Add the vanilla; pulse the dough just until combined.
  5. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm (at least 30 minutes to one hour).
  6. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface (about ¼” thickness), then cut into fluted rounds (2 – 2½”).
  7. Place on parchmented baking sheet; chill for 10-15 minutes (until firm, but not frozen).
  8. Bake for about 12-15 minutes (until just pale golden).
  9. Cool to room temperature on baking sheet, then transfer to rack (cookies will crumble if moved while still warm). Cool completely.
  10. Spread or pipe the manjar blanco on one alfajor, and top with another to make a sandwich. Dust with powdered sugar.
Recipe Notes

This recipe yields approximately 2 pounds 2 ounces of dough.

You can mix the butter and vanilla in by hand, if you don't have a mixer. Knead until blended, but be very careful not to over-knead, or the cookies will be tough and will be misshapen when baked.

The baked cookies are delicate. Store flat, with parchment sheets between layers.

The shortbread cookies freeze well; but manjar blanco may become grainy or slimy when frozen. Freeze unfilled cookies, but keep manjar blanco and filled cookies at room temperature.

The filled cookies will keep for several days at room temperature.


Copyright © 2011 la vida comida.
Recipe by Jennifer Ramos Lorson.